Quite often if you arrive unannounced at an Adventist Church-- anywhere, in my experience-- you will be invited to stay for the "fellowship meal" following the service. For Christians from other denominations or non-Christians, there is often a sort of gasp-look when they realize that there is not only no "unclean" meats, but no "flesh foods" served. This 'rule' is not universal (or not universally enforced..lol). In the Philippines under a tent gazebo attached to the church we were served fish, a staple in this community. Sometimes our native elder brings smoked salmon as an offering to the fellowship meal. The occasional time I have been invited to someone's home after Church and have been offered a chicken dish. But in general you can expect a vegetarian (ovo-lacto) potluck-- or less frequently, a strictly vegan meal-- at the Sabbath Fellowship.
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Which brings up the danger of severely over-eating if you are that way inclined... If you take even a little sampling of each dish you do end up with quite a plateful. And an array of tempting desserts generally completes the Fellowship Meal. I do notice that our particular Church deaconess has probably been actively promoting lighter, fruitier dessert fare of late.
But, still, I can guarantee that if you are a visitor you will be impressed and tempted by the cakes, cookies, pies, and fruit plates, etc. And like in any potluck anywhere, you will be urged and invited and cajoled into trying the "specialty" items of various individual cooks.
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for the contributors of food at potlucks to have a clearly written-up list of ingredients so that those with
sensitivities do not run into trouble. Do you do this at your Church's potluck? What feedback have you received? Most hostesses /members (deaconesses often) at the Fellowship Meal will bend over backwards to point out the foods that do not contain the ingredients that are on your no-no list. For instance, I find that many of our members are eating gluten-free, and we are quite aware of the strict vegans. Most of us pride ourselves in bringing a small assortment of dishes that fit the bill for those with gluten-sensitivity or those with nut allergies.
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If you are reading this and have never considered going to a Seventh-day Adventist service, but are intrigued by the idea of a great (free) vegetarian smorgasbord for Saturday lunch, please know that you are very welcome to come just for the meal! I would recommend phoning your nearest Adventist Church to find out if they do indeed have a fellowship meal on whatever Saturday you would like to attend, and to let them know that you will be there because you read about how great the meals are in a blog on the Internet. You might also want to ask when (or if) they will be offering Vegetarian Cooking Classes in the community. And then, go forth and enjoy the food and fellowship!
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